Virtual Santa Dash for Lancaster charity smashes last year's fundraising - just halfway through campaign

The virtual version of CancerCare’s annual Santa Dash has smashed the amount raised at last year’s event just halfway through the six week campaign.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 7:00 am
Jeni Liley, who has pledged 80 miles running around Lancaster.

Last year’s Santa Dash, which each year sees hundreds of local people dressed as Father Christmas take part in a fun run round Lancaster city centre, raised £6,000 for the charity - which provides free professional counselling and therapy for people affected by bereavement and cancer.

This year, the pandemic forced the cancellation of the even so it invited people to take part on their own spare time and pledge the amount or miles to a special online campaign which aimed to hit a total of 1,347 miles – the distance from Lancaster to Lapland over the course of six weeks.

Already the fundraising total stands at more than £8,000 with dozens of people across the Morecambe Bay area from Lancaster to Barrow running, swimming and climbing a total of more than 5,000 miles with more than three weeks left to run.

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Phill Huddart from Morecambe, who is running along Morecambe promenade and adding a different item of a Santa costume each day.

The virtual event has seen people get creative with their challenges and among the local people taking part are:

* David Toole from Morecambe, who is aiming to raise a 50kg barbell a total of two miles above his head, a feat which equates to 1,640 lifts

* Phill Huddart from Morecambe, who is running along Morecambe promenade and adding a different item of a Santa costume each day

* Emma Kidd, who is taking part along with colleagues from Lancaster creative agency Factored and is fell running 134 miles in the hills around Forton

Pete Brooks from Lancaster, who is kitesurfing his miles around Sunderland Point near Heysham.

* Gareth Blackburn from Lancaster, who takes part in the event every year and ran a commemorative 10k on Sunday November 29, the day when the event was scheduled to take place

* Jeni Liley, who has pledged 80 miles running around Lancaster

* Pete Brooks from Lancaster, who is kitesurfing his miles around Sunderland Point near Heysham

Pete Brooks said: "I am participating in the Santa Dash this year as I wanted to support CancerCare with their challenge this Christmas. My wife has had cancer and supporting CancerCare means a lot to us.”

Gareth Blackburn from Lancaster, who takes part in the event every year and ran a commemorative 10k on Sunday November 29, the day when the event was scheduled to take place.

Organiser Kat Michaels said: “Santa Dash is one of our favourite events at CancerCare so we were devastated to have to cancel it but the support everyone is showing the virtual event has more than made up for the disappointment.

"There has been a real sense of camaraderie and supportiveness on our dedicated Facebook page with everyone sharing the weird and wonderful ways they have been completing their miles.”

“We are also delighted with the amount of money we have raised, all of which will go to helping local people whose lives have been turned upside down by cancer or bereavement this Christmas.

If you would like to get involved or donate to the campaign click here

David Toole from Morecambe, who is aiming to raise a 50kg barbell a total of two miles above his head, a feat which equates to 1,640 lifts.
Emma Kidd, who is taking part along with colleagues from Lancaster creative agency Factored and is fell running 134 miles in the hills around Forton.
Pete Brooks from Lancaster, who is kitesurfing his miles around Sunderland Point near Heysham.